Are You Ready for the Future?

Laura M. Porinchak / August 2020

Greetings, readers!
    
This issue of AWCI’s Construction Dimensions brings you a look at what AWCI member contractors think about today’s technology used in construction, and also what technology may or may not be used in the future (page 22). Robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality layout systems are purported to be in our near future, but will these and other gadgets help boost productivity? As things stand right now, the answer is no—at least that’s what the folks we interviewed think. Could they be wrong? Yes, but probably not. The construction industry is notoriously hesitant to adopt new technology, but that may not be the case here.
    
There was a time when the fax machine was the newest invention to change the work environment. Now we’ve got smart devices like cellphones and tablets along with building information modeling and GPS layout systems, all of which have been eagerly accepted by the “slow-to-adopt” construction industry. According to a report from FMI Corporation, “the built environment has seen the introduction of over 2,000 different technology solutions over the last 10 years.” Obviously the industry will latch on to tools and widgets that will get the job done faster, safer and simply better. This article shows that some AWCI members are at least willing to explore new technology, and some are relying on millennials to help with the decisions about which way to go. So are we likely to see robots hanging board in the next 10 years, or will exoskeletons improve enough that hangers will actually want to use them to get the job done? You’ll have to read the article to find out the answer to these questions and more.
    
This is also our special annual buyers’ guide featuring AWCI member manufacturers. If you are new to our guides (our September issue will feature the AWCI member suppliers), know that you will want to keep this issue handy in case you need to quickly reference the products our members offer. We consider our members to be the best of the best, and I’m sure you will to.
    
We also update the information on www.awci.org, and it is there you can look for current information throughout the year. But, if you ever lose your internet connection or your cell battery dies when you’re out in the field, you’ll want to know that your print edition is readily available.
    
Speaking of our print magazine, I am very happy to tell you that you can now receive our magazine in digital format. Now, as I said earlier, our industry is famous for sticking with tried-and-true products, and the majority of our members and readers have been telling us they still want the print edition delivered to their mailbox every month. But some are ready for digital delivery, and you now have that option. Our digital edition is currently available on AWCI’s website and has been for several years, but now you can have it delivered right to the emailbox of your choice. Click here to renew or update your subscription and set your preference. I should also mention that we won’t make you pick one over the other; you can receive AWCI’s Construction Dimensions in both print and digital formats. Whatever you want! We are happy to be able to give you, our faithful readers, what you want.
    
Enjoy, and stay safe!